Twenty-two minutes and a trip to the ATM later I parked and was headed into the sumptuous confines of St. Felix in Hollywood, Canon in hand. I wasn’t sure what I expected (I never go out but this was something I couldn’t miss), I just know I certainly wasn’t expecting this—especially not this early in the evening.
The rear of the restaurant-lounge was filled, nearly wall-to-wall, with good-looking Black people – and others. It wasn’t quite 8:30 and the place was packed. Before I took the few steps down into The Powder Room, the rear lounge, I was able to see the adjacent patio that looked a bit less crowded. At the very least it was open and outdoors and my 5’ 1 ¾” frame wouldn’t get lost.
As I made my journey to freedom I ran into Benjamin Cory Jones, writer and creator of the Bros Before Hos pilot presentation that had all of these cool kids assembled in one room. He greeted me with the same earnestness and excitement I’ve grown to expect from The Resurgence and told me to let him know if I needed anything during the event.
It was a screening and social media party, where you’re encouraged to take as many selfies, usies, and snapshots as possible and post, tweet and do it for the ‘gram all night long in an effort to spread the word—and make everyone not in attendance jealous. Check the hashtags. The comments (and messages from fellow staff members of The ViP) say it worked like a charm.
Bros Before Hos is a television pilot presentation for a semi-autobiographical comedy about three brothers, two straight, one gay, each dealing with modern-day issues in Los Angeles while trying to find love, but screwing shit up along the way. The presentation stars Dijon Talton, Kevin Phillips, Americo “Tuffy” Questall, Dana Sorman, Nia Jervier and Kristopher Gordon and was directed and executive produced by Anthony Hemingway.
The usual mingling occurred up until about 9:00pm when the screening took place on two screens. Standing in the middle of the two, just behind actors, Ashley Blaine Featherson and Nia Jervier, who stars in the pilot presentation, I glanced back and forth between each screen depending on which guest’s awesomely large natural hair was blocking my view.
I took special note of the calm with which Jervier viewed her own performance. Many actors have this thing where they find it hard to watch themselves on screen, often cringing until it’s over. Only later, during a 3am Twitter session, would I discover she’s no different in that department and the calm exterior was in part thanks to the whispers of support from Featherson. I’m sure the loud cheers that came from different parts of the room when she first appeared on screen and the applause that came after helped a bit as well.
Throughout most of the screening the audience was quiet, tuned-in as though it was their first time viewing it. The full pilot presentation had been released early that morning so I can’t say for sure who’d seen it and who hadn’t but everyone was playing close attention. There are receipts to prove it:
The other round of applause and sporadic cheers came at the opening and closing of Americo “Tuffy” Questal’s and Dana Sorman’s scene, easily the funniest scene of the pilot presentation.
After the screening Jones took the mic, made a few introductions and gave a lot of thank yous before passing it off to the pilot presentation’s producer, Lena Waithe who did much of the same with extra emphasis on the significance of what we’d just watched and the importance of the audience. Both encouraged, empowered, and implored everyone present to take matters into their own hands and demand “better Black TV” by being as vocal—literally and figuratively—as possible about their desire to see Bros Before Hos on network television. Shortly after, folks started to disperse about the venue a bit, creating extra breathing room for the more than 250 guests in attendance.
The party wasn’t over—not by a long shot. The promotional flyer for the event stated it would be “musically illustrated by DJ B-Hen” and that is about as apt a description as they could have given. As a music artist I’ve been around a lot of DJs for many years now and not only am I impressed by very few, I’m disappointed by most, often times opting to tune out the predictable digitally crafted playlist in favor of ambient noise or the thoughts in my head. DJ B-Hen impressed me. For that he deserves a special shoutout for being a highlight of the evening.
I spent most of the night between my cousin, who seems to know everyone, everywhere he goes and actor Sola Bamis who experienced her own share of recognition that night. Needless to say this provided the perfect opportunity to observe, snap a few photos and talk with other attendees. Everyone I queried expressed the same like, excitement and hope regarding the pilot presentation. There was a shared sentiment: “I loved it” and “we need this.”
You’ll get no disagreement from me; the fact that we need greater diversity in media is obvious to anyone who’s even slightly awake. Every culture, sub-culture, and group deserves to see full and accurate representations of themselves on screen. Bros Before Hos provides this representation for a number of groups in a fun and realistic manner.
We also need better Black media and Benjamin Cory Jones, Lena Waithe, Anthony Hemingway, and co-producer, Mark Taylor are committed to making this happen.
If you haven’t seen the pilot presentation check it out below and let us know what you think. For more photos, check out our gallery here.